Fox on 'Neighborhood Watch'

Shawn Levy producing; David Dobkin circling to direct

There goes the neighborhood.

"Neighborhood Watch," the 21 Laps project that's set up at Fox, is getting a makeover and some new momentum.

Shawn Levy, who had been attached to direct and produce, will now only produce, with "Wedding Crashers" helmer David Dobkin negotiating to direct the project.

"Watch" centers on an urbanite who gets more than he bargained for when he moves to the suburbs and joins the neighborhood watch, with a sci-fi element included via a plot line about aliens.

Producers are currently out to cast, with conversations under way with Will Ferrell to play the lead, though insiders said those conversations were still in the early stages. The studio declined to confirm any Ferrell discussions. Jared Stern wrote the script and 21 Laps' Tom McNulty will produce along with Levy.

The CAA-repped Dobkin has a deal at Warners, where he's attached to direct a diverse range of projects, including an update of superhero tale "The Flash," the whimsical romantic comedy "Helium" and an untitled holiday comedy in which a Southern father meets his three daughters' ethnically diverse boyfriends on Thanksgiving.

Ferrell, also repped by CAA, appears in two pics this summer -- the family-adventure reboot "Land of the Lost" and the used car-salesman comedy "The Goods" -- and is also set to play Dr. Watson in Columbia's retelling of the Sherlock Holmes tales.

Fox has been developing a specialty in comedies with fantasy and sci-fi elements. It has just restarted development on futuristic comedy "Used Guys" and later this month will release"Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian," a fantasy-oriented comedy that's also produced by 21 Laps and is directed by Levy.
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